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Bend It Like Beckham edges closer to West End?

May 7, 2014 

Is new musical Bend It Like Beckham closer to a West End run?

Jamie Muscato

Jamie Muscato

Nikita Johal

Nikita Johal

British film director Gurinder Chadha’s latest project – a musical version of her hit 2002 movie Bend It Like Beckham – may be inching closer to London.

Friday 2 May 2014 at the Dominion Theatre saw a workshop reading of the new show – which is penned by composer Howard Goodall (Love Story, The Hired Man) and lyricist Charles Hart (The Phantom of the Opera), with a book by Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges based on Chadha’s screenplay.

Producer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson was present at the workshop, alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber and producer of the show Sonia Friedman, and gives an interesting account of the show here.

Also present was The Stage theatre critic Mark Shenton, who took to Twitter to say: “Critics don’t usually go to workshops. But I’m glad I went to this one: I’ve not seen an original British musical this good in YEARS!”

The workshop involved actor Jamie Muscato (Love Story, Spring Awakening, Les Miserables – Barbican and Tour, Rock of Ages) and newcomer Nikita Johal. Director Kate Golledge also worked on the project.

The development workshop follows an October 2013 session which saw Samantha Barks play Jules (played by Keira Knightley in the film), Tara Divina as Jess, the Sikh schoolgirl who loves football (played by Parminder Nagra in the movie), plus Frances Ruffelle, Preeya Kalidas, Shobna Gulati and Richard Fleeshman.

There is currently no news on securing a theatre or timing, but we hear that discussions and negotiations are underway.

The show’s closest competition is current Victoria Palace show Billy Elliot, and another British movie turned into a musical and on its way into London – Made in Dagenham – opening at the Adelphi Theatre on 9 October 2014.


Busy woman: Sonia Friedman

Busy woman: Sonia Friedman

Bend It Like Beckham is another addition to Sonia Friedman’s growing list of 2014 and 2015 commitments, which include this summer’s big opener, Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre, Kathleen Turner vehicle Bakersfield Mist – which kicks off at the Duchess this Saturday, forthcoming Old Vic show Electra starring Kristin Scott Thomas, plus current shows 1984 at the Playhouse and The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales. Oh and Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet at the Barbican in 2015.

This slate comes on the back of a triumphant Olivier Awards this year for the producer, winning the most awards in Olivier history including Best New Play for Chimerica, Best New Musical for The Book of Mormon, Best Play Revival for Ghosts and Best Musical Revival for Merrily We Roll Along. Plus the recently announced Tony nominations included 8 nods for Broadway transfer of Twelfth Night and Richard III.


Gurinder Chadha interviewed about Bend It Like Beckham The Musical.



Sonia Friedman Productions

Photos: The Kissing Dance at the Jermyn Street Theatre

March 29, 2011 

Production photos of The Kissing Dance at the Jermyn Street Theatre

Beverley Klein, Gemma Sutton and David Burt in The Kissing Dance. Photo: © Roy Tan

Beverley Klein, Gemma Sutton and David Burt in The Kissing Dance. Photo: © Roy Tan

A joyful musical adaptation of Oliver Goldsmith’s classic comedy She Stoops to Conquer by Howard Goodall and Charles Hart at Jermyn Street Theatre. Stars David Alder, Gina Beck, David Burt, Lila Clements, Greg Herst, Beverley Klein, Samuel Martin, Harriet Oughton, Jack Shalloo, Lauren Storer, Gemma Sutton, Dylan Turner and Ian Virgo.

Until 23rd April 2011 at the Jermyn Street Theatre

Music by Howard Goodall
Lyrics & Book by Charles Hart
Directed by Lotte Wakeham
Musical Direction by Tom Attwood
Designer Samal Blak
Lighting Designer Christopher Nairne
Costume Designer Karen Frances
Choreography by Tim Jackson

Photos by Roy Tan


Jermyn Street Theatre website

Love never dies but does take rests

October 22, 2010 

Are Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright best buddies or what? It’s like a true West End bro-mance.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright with Sophie Evans

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright with Sophie Evans

Bill and Andy have been commercial partners for a while now, with Bill producing national tours of Andrew’s shows, notably Evita and Joseph – which has made millions for the two men.

Plus Bill is helping Andrew out producing his next biggie, The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium next February, starring Danielle Hope. Their announcement that Sophie Evans will be Dorothy First Reserve for the show at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff in July, was a nice two-hander that demonstrated how close the two rivals have become (see photo).

And now we hear that Bill is assisting the Lord in doing a bit of light tinkering with Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre. Most who’ve seen the show seem to enjoy it, but Andrew has been unhappy since the opening and his creative team – Hairspray’s Jack O’Brien and Jerry Mitchell – have fled back to Broadway to work on Catch Me If You Can (quite apt!)

So ALW has pressed on with some changes of his own – including some revised lyrics by Phantom lyricist Charles Hart, Ben Elton has been involved in adding his thoughts, and Bill is going to have a stab at making the ending more satisfying.

The show will take a four day break from 22 November for the changes to take place.

Will the critics be invited to review the show all over again we ask?

SPECIAL OFFER: Save on tickets to Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre in London

Aspects of Love – Reviews Round-up

July 19, 2010 

Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory - Reviews Round-upPhew! The Menier Chocolate Factory is back on form after the slight blip that was Paradise Found. A collective sigh was heard across the Review pit as Trevor Nunn’s unfinished business with Aspects of Love garnered largely positive reviews from the critics, who weren’t always enamoured with the lyrics but heaped much praise on Nunn’s intimate chamber staging, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music and the accomplished cast. Given Nunn’s success with A Little Night Music, there will be much expectation that this will transfer to the West End and beyond.

OLIVIER AWARDS – Best Musicals Winners

June 13, 2010 

OLIVIER AWARDS – Best Musicals Winners

Best New Musical

2012 Matilda The Musical by Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin
2011 Legally Blonde – The Musical book by Heather Hach, music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin at the Savoy
2010 Spring Awakening, music by Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics by Steven Sater, based on the play by Frank Wedekind, at the Novello theatre
2009 Jersey Boys, book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice, music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe at the Prince Edward theatre
2008 Hairspray, book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, based on the John Waters film,
2007 Caroline, Or Change, book and lyrics by Tony Kushner, music by Jeanine Tesori
2006 Billy Elliot – The Musical, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, music by Elton John
2005 The Producers book by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan; music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and by special arrangement with StudioCanal
2004 Jerry Springer – The Opera music by Richard Thomas, book and lyrics by Stewart Lee & Richard Thomas
2003 Our House by Tim Firth, music and lyrics by Madness
2001 Merrily We Roll Along — music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by George Furth, suggested by a play by George S Kaufman and Moss Hart
2000 Honk! The Ugly Duckling – music by George Stiles, book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen
1999 Kat And The Kings by David Kramer and Taliep Petersen
1998 Beauty And The Beast – music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, book by Linda Woolverton
1997 Martin Guerre – book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Edward Hardy and Stephen Clark, original French text by Alain Boublil, additional lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil
1996 Jolson The Musical – written by Francis Essex and Rob Bettinson
1995 Once On This Island – book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty, based upon the novel My Love My Love by Rosa Guy
1994 City Of Angels – book by Larry Gelbart, music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel
1993 Crazy For You – music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, book by Ken Ludwig
1992 Carmen Jones by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on Meilhac and Halévy’s adaptation of Prosper Merimée’s Carmen with original music by Bizet
1991 Sunday In The Park with George – music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine
1989/90 Return To The Forbidden Planet by Bob Carlton
1988 Candide – book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Richard Wilbur
1987 Follies – music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Goldman
1986 The Phantom Of The Opera – music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart, additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe
1985 Me And My Girl – book and lyrics by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber, music by Noel Gay
1984 42nd Street – music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Al Dubin, book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, based on a novel by Bradford Ropes
1983 Blood Brothers by Willy Russell
1982 Poppy – book and lyrics by Peter Nichols, music by Monty Norman
1981 Cats – music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
1980 Sweeney Todd – music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, based on the play by Christopher Bond
1979 Songbook – music by Monty Norman, lyrics by Julian More, book by Monty Norman and Julian More
1978 Evita – lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
1977 The Comedy Of Errors by William Shakespeare, music by Guy Woolfenden
1976 A Chorus Line – book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban

Outstanding Musical Production

2007 Sunday In The Park With George, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine
2006 Guys And Dolls, based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
2005 Grand Hotel book by Luther Davis; music & lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest; additional music and lyrics by Maury Yeston; based on Vicki Baum’s Grand Hotel
2004 Pacific Overtures music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, additional material by Hugh Wheeler
2003 Anything Goes music and lyrics by Cole Porter, original book by PG Wodehouse and Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse, new book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman
2002 My Fair Lady book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe, adapted from Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture
2001 Singin’ In The Rain — based on the MGM film, original choreography by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, screenplay and adaptation by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed
2000 Candide – music by Leonard Bernstein, book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler, in a new version by John Caird, lyrics by Richard Wilbur, additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John Latouche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein
1999 Oklahoma! music by Richard Rodgers, book & lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
1998 Chicago – lyrics by Fred Ebb, music by John Kander, book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse
1997 Tommy – music and lyrics by Pete Townshend, book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff

Best Musical Revival

2012 Crazy For You at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
2011 Into the Woods at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
2010 Hello Dolly!, book by Michael Stewart, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, based on the play The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder, at the Open Air theatre
2009 La Cage aux Folles, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, book by Harvey Fierstein, based on the play “La Cage Aux Folles” by Jean Poiret, at the Playhouse theatre
2008 The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo
1995 She Loves Me – book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and based on a play by Miklos Laszlo
1994 Sweeney Todd – music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler, from an adaptation by Christopher Bond
1993 Carousel – music by Richard Rodgers, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on the play Liliom by Ferenc Molnár as adapted by Benjamin F Glazer
1992 The Boys From Syracuse – music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, book by George Abbott
1991 Show Boat – book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Jerome Kern

Performance of the Year in a Musical

1978 Elaine Paige for Evita
1977 Ann Sharkey for Maggie

Outstanding Achievement of the Year in Musicals

1984 Ned Sherrin for the conception of The Ratepayers’ Iolanthe
1982 Guys And Dolls
1981 Gillian Lynne, choreographer of Cats

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